Torah: Black Fire On White Fire

When we think about a Torah scroll, we usually only consider the letters themselves, written in black ink. Yet, the Talmud (Menachot 29a) rules that every letter in a Torah scroll must be completely surrounded by parchment in a requirement called mukaf gevil. The white parchment around the letters is an integral part of the Torah; without it, …

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The Simple Pleasures of Sukkot

The festival of Sukkot began at sundown on October 2nd and ends at sundown on October 9th. On Sukkot we shake the Lulav and Etrog in Six Directions (blessing all elements of the Earth) dine, relax, socialize or even sleep in a Sukkah — a temporary hut — signifying the transience of all things.

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Yom Kippur: Breaking the Mold

In Kabbalah, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is an internal world within us longing for healing, connection, purpose and repair. Within this internal world we engage in the process of purging all the toxins from our lives. Each Shofar blast we hear on Yom Kippur reflects the meaning of this Holy time of year. 1. …

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Judaism Q and A: Heaven and The Afterlife

This Q and A is inspired by some misconceptions I’ve seen proliferating about Jewish mourning terminology and beliefs in the Afterlife. Contemporary Jewish communities shy away from Jewish concepts of “Heaven and Hell,” but their existence in Jewish theology is well-established and became a focus of Jewish interpretation during the Maccabean period. Q. Does Judaism …

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Modern Jews VS Israelites

Q. Was Avraham/Abraham (forefather of the three Abrahamic faiths) the first Jew? A. It’s not accurate to say he was a “Jew” or “Jewish,” but he was an ancient archetype and primogenitor, called Avraham Avinu (אברהם אבינו), "our father Abraham” in Jewish tradition. Nowadays, the word Jew is the demonym of the People whose story …

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The Ten Agreements

Ten Agreements I wrote based off “The Ten Commandments.” 1. No Other Gods Before Me: We agree not to allow the manmade gods of ego, greed, envy, arrogance and religious superiority to represent Divinity or diminish the Divinity of other beings. 2. Graven Images: We agree to free ourselves from deeply engraved beliefs that don’t …

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Has Judaism Evolved Over The Ages? (Requested Topic)

Len, at Lensdailydiary, asked “Has Judaism evolved over the ages as a religion? Is it interpreted the same today as 500 years ago? Are younger generations more discerning and demanding in their answers to theological questions?”Judaism, like Christianity, has evolved over time and continues to evolve. We have denominations — just as Christianity has Lutheran, …

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